Tips for Smooth Filing Season.
Fastest refunds by e-filing, avoiding paper returns: Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year to avoid refund delays. If you need a tax refund quickly, do not file on paper – use software, a trusted tax professional or Free File on IRS.gov.
Avoid delays; file an accurate tax return: More than ever this year, the IRS urges people to make sure they’re ready to file an accurate tax return. An accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, extensive refund delays and later IRS notices.
Special care for EIP, advance Child Tax Credit recipients: The IRS also encourages caution to those people who received a third Economic Impact Payment or advance Child Tax Credit in 2021. Taxpayers should ensure the amounts they’ve received are entered correctly on the tax return. Incorrect entries when reporting these payments mean the IRS will need to further review the tax return, creating an extensive delay. To help taxpayers, the IRS is mailing special letters about the stimulus payments and advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts. People can also check the amount of their payments in their Online Account available on IRS.gov.
Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit refunds: By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February, though eligible people may file their returns beginning on January 24. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.
Avoid phone delays; online resources best option for help: IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option for help. IRS assisted phone lines continue to receive record numbers of calls, more than the agency can handle with its limited resources. Avoid delays: Check IRS.gov first for refund information and answers to tax questions. Establishing an Online Account on IRS.gov can also help taxpayers get information quickly. The Online Account feature has recently been expanded to allow more people to gain access.
Don’t normally file a return? Consider filing for CTC, other valuable credits: For people who don’t normally file a tax return and didn’t file a 2020 return or use the Non-Filers tool, they can still qualify for important credits they’re eligible for, including the Recovery Rebate Credit (stimulus payment), advance Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS encourages people in this group to file a 2021 tax return so they can receive all the credits for which they’re eligible.
Online options for free help; answers to common questions: Use IRS.gov to get answers to tax questions, check a refund status or pay taxes. There’s no wait time or appointment needed — online tools and resources are available 24 hours a day.
2020 tax return still being processed? Tips to help with filing 2021 tax return: For people whose tax returns from 2020 have not yet been processed, they can still file their 2021 tax returns. For those filing electronically in this group, here’s a critical point. Taxpayers need their Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, from their most recent tax return when they file electronically. For those waiting on their 2020 tax return to be processed, make sure to enter $0 (zero dollars) for last year’s AGI on the 2021 tax return. Visit IRS.gov for more details.
April 18 tax deadline: The filing deadline is April 18 for most taxpayers; automatic six-month extensions of time to file are available for anyone by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.